The ship has been cruising through the night at a speed of 11 knots across the Drake Passage. The higher swell started at about midnight
and is currently around 4-5 meters, which is smaller than expected. The temperature
is 4C with winds averaging 30 knots per hour.
Competitors are looking good and are happy having experienced their
first night on board their home for the next 10 days.
Japanese competitor Etsuji Otsuka said "I slept very well. I like the boat, it's very comfortable." He is most looking forward to seeing the penguins.
There are dolphins currently swimming around the port side of the ship, and large Albatrosses (with 3 meter wing spans) and a variety of
other seabirds flying around.
Competitors will spend today relaxing, socializing and listening to lectures by experts on the wildlife and history of Antarctica.
The blog posts continue to be written and added to the website. The latest to be added are from Asger Bech-Thomsen from Denmark, Linh Huynh from Canada and Etsuji Otsuka.
The pre-race stage update is on the website and includes quotes from Grand Slammer Atul Patki, Team Corre 1Km+ from Spain, the favourite for the female division Isis Breiter and old timer Bruce Walker who has not done a race since 2009.
Pre-race photos of the competitor reunions in Ushuaia, the pre-race briefing, boarding the expedition ship and the first moments on board the ship are also on the website now:
Belinda Holdsworth " I love Antarctica so much I may move here "
Megan Stewart "This truly is a once in a lifetime experience."
David Barnard "Another stunning day in paradise, but also another tough stage."
Brett Foote: "There was a huge Gentoo penguin colony so could smell and hear them from everywhere on the course They are such funny little blokes and are completely unafraid of us!! In fact the are very inquisitive!!"
STAGE UPDATE: http://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/stage_updates
Unfortunately landing conditions at King George Island were also impossible and so the ship turned west to Deception Island. Instead of Whalers Bay where Stage 1 took place, M/V Plancius is anchoring at the new location of Telephone Bay where Stage 5 of the race will take place (after Stage 4 was cancelled).
If the weather holds Stage 4 will start at 07:00 on Saturday, 8 November local time(in seven and a half hours) and continue until early in the afternoon.
After the conclusion of Stage 4 the expedition ship will start the long sail back across the Drake Passage to Ushuaia.
Competitors took the opportunity to relax and rest today and are now ready for an early night ready for the final Stage.
Competitors began the stage just after 08:00 and ran on desert-like landscape with seals and penguins by the shore.
All competitors completed the stage around 14:00. The winners were again Jose Manual Martinez Fernandez or "Chema" of Spain for the overall race and Isis Breiter of Mexico for the women.
George Chmiel of the United States ran into the finish line with a US flag, and Olle Chen picked up the Taiwan flag to run in with. Ryan Hill of the United Kingdom ran in with his "Blizzard" stuffed animal. Atul Patki, celebrating his birthday, remarked how his life had been changed forever. He couldn't believe that he was able to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. Father and son, Mark and Kirk Strathern, both smiled as they received the medals from the expedition leader. Arthur Chu became the first from the Philippines and Sanya Kongmunvattana the first from Thailand to complete the 4 Deserts Race Series and join the 4 Deserts Club.
Many records were broken today. Forty-four new individuals will join the 4 Deserts Club when medals are awarded on the Beagle Channel in two days.
The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2014 has now concluded and competitors are enjoying a celebratory drink in the lounge as they prepare for the long journey back to Ushuaia, Argentina.
The weather is currently looking positive, but could change at anytime.
Competitors who complete this stage will receive their medals for the race at the finish line before boarding the expedition ship and heading back across the Drake Passage to Ushuaia.
Chema Martinez from Spain and Isis Breiter from Mexico were crowned the winners of The Last Desert and 4 Deserts Champions for 2014.
2nd places went to Ralph Crowley of United States and Beatriz Garcia Berche from Spain for the women, while 3rd place was won by James Edwards and Monique Muhlen.
In the team category the Old Misfits took 1st place with 2nd and 3rd places going to Grand Slammers the 3 Amigos and Corre 1km+ respectively (with team members aged 65, 46 and 29).
Megan Stewart from New Zealand was nominated as the receiver of the Spirit Award and Etsuji Otsuka from Japan with the Sportsmanship.
44 competitors from 21 countries were presented with the 4 Deserts medal as they joined the 4 Deserts Club - 19 of whom did so by completing the Grand Slam. And Paul Borlinha became the 3rd person in the world to have completed all 5 races organised by the 4 Deserts Race Series in one year. In total 11 records were set and three new countries are represented in the 4 Deserts Club (Poland, Thailand and the Philippines).
TO REVIEW ALL OF THE FINAL INFORMATION FROM THE RACE GO TO:
STAGE UPDATES: http://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/stage_updates
PRESS RELEASE: http://www.4deserts.com/pressroom-3
This is the last breaking news for The Last Desert 2014.